“Does your spouse know?” — a pretty provocative title and if you have any guilt feelings about anything your spouse doesn’t know then that is between you and your spouse. However, this article should be thought-provoking if you want to grow your practice.
Let me first clarify what I mean by a spouse. A spouse could also be your significant other, an adult child or children, a mother or father or another family member. By now you are probably thoroughly confused and I promise to un-confuse you (is that a word), so please keep reading.
What I’m about to say is not my original thought but it came about as I was sitting with a couple of younger lawyers at a happy hour. The conversation turned to how their wives were the ones that basically got to know everyone in the neighborhood or were the ones that talked to other wives or husbands at various kids’ events. One of the lawyers made a comment that he was getting some business by virtue of who his wife had met him and in her telling these people what he did for a living. The other lawyer simply said my wife has no clue what I do. From that comment, I asked do you mean your wife doesn’t know that you are a lawyer and the response was: “Oh yes, she knows I’m a lawyer, but that’s about as far as it goes”. I then asked the other attorney what his wife tells people and he said she basically gives a short elevator speech for him telling people specifically what type of lawyer he is and how he helps people.
Having had that discussion, I began to wonder just how many spouses, children, mothers, fathers and other family members know that you are a lawyer, but really do not know what kind of lawyer and how you help people. What if instead of just saying my spouse is a lawyer it is followed by he does so-and-so and, and helps people that need_________________. Do you think that will not make more of an impression that just saying he is a lawyer? Now, that person may not need or know of anyone who made need his services at that particular time, but at some point in the future, there could be a referral made.
So now my question to you is, does your spouse really know what you do and would she or he be open to your teaching them a short elevator speech. Some spouses may be open to this and others may not. But what does it hurt to raise the question?
If you do approach the subject with your spouse. I would be interested in hearing what the reaction is.
One more thing, If you have not have developed your own elevator speech (I prefer to call it your “audio logo”) it will be very difficult for you to coach your spouse. If you would like some ideas on “audio logos” that we have developed for other attorneys, please send me an email and I will give you some helpful hints from my book.
James E. Thompson, JD is the President of Lawyers Marketing Resource a company dedicated to helping lawyers grow their practice. You can contact him at jet@lawyersmarketing resource.com.
He is the author of “Why Lawyers Fail to Get the Referrals they Deserve and Need to Grow Their Practice and What They Can Do About It” and “Why Most Lawyers FAIL at Getting Referrals from Other Lawyers and How to Change That”. If you would like an ebook copy of either or both books visit his web site: www.lawyersmarketingresource.com and you will find instructions on how to get the book.